Latest ICAI reviews announced

27 Jan 2021

The humanitarian response to COVID-19, aligning UK aid with the Paris Agreement on climate change, and democracy and human rights are among the topics that the Independent Commission for Aid Impact (ICAI) will scrutinise in its latest series of planned reviews.

ICAI has agreed with Parliament’s International Development Committee (IDC) that it will review the following eight areas of UK aid spend:

  • COVID-19 one year in – an overview of the UK aid response, a rapid review that will build on ICAI’s recent information note UK aid spending during COVID-19: management of procurement through suppliers.
  • Aligning UK ODA with the Paris Agreement, a rapid review that will look at how the government is taking forward its commitment to tackling climate change.
  • The humanitarian response to COVID-19, a full review that will assess how well the UK aid programme, including through its support to the wider international humanitarian system, has responded to the humanitarian crisis caused by the pandemic.
  • World Bank International Development Association (IDA), a full review that will assess how the UK, as the largest donor to IDA, oversees its contribution. It will also shed light on whether the scale of spend through this channel represents good value for money, ahead of the next IDA replenishment at the end of 2022.
  • Democracy and human rights, a full review that will explore what lessons can be learned from programmes aiming to foster democracy and human rights, to help ensure future programmes aiming to support open societies are effective.
  • Results review: Education, which will seek to test the claims made by successive governments, which underlie new commitments to education, and girls’ education in particular. It will also assess whether transformative and sustainable impact is being achieved.
  • An Afghanistan country portfolio review that will cover the entire UK aid footprint in Afghanistan – a key example of where UK aid is being spent in a protracted crisis, with relevance to both development priorities and to UK security interests such as countering terrorism and violent extremism, migration and organised crime.
  • Peacebuilding, a full review that will assess the UK’s peacebuilding efforts with a focus on gender.

The new reviews, which are due to be completed between now and 2022, have been added to ICAI’s existing workplan, which includes upcoming reviews looking at protecting ODA from fraud, tackling deforestation and halting biodiversity loss, youth employment in the Middle East and North Africa, and safeguarding, as well as an information note on UK aid to China.

ICAI will also carry out a supplementary review building on its earlier rapid review of the government’s management of the aid-spending target, using data to be published in spring 2021, and a further review looking at fraud prevention measures in UK aid, focusing on multilateral contributions.

See our full work plan here.

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